Everyone gets a headache at some point, but not everyone experiences the same kind of headaches in their lives. Some people might experience headaches they didn’t know were headaches to begin with! To help relieve some headache confusion, here are a few common types of headaches, and how to manage them:

The Three Main Classifications:

Headaches, in general, are classified into three main groups, dubbed primary, secondary, and tertiary respectively. Primary headaches have no apparent cause, and can greatly affect someone’s quality of life. Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying condition, like an injury or an infection. Tertiary headaches are most often caused by nerve damage.

The importance of these classification groups lies in diagnosis and treatment. With so many different causes, headaches are quite the common symptom, and thus doctors will need further information to properly treat them.

Types of Headaches

Out of the three classifications, there are three kinds of primary headaches and quite a few secondary ones that are quite common:

·       Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are a type of primary headache and are often light to moderate in terms of pain. Tension headaches last up to a few hours in length and often feel like a dull ache or pressure, similar to a tight band being wrapped around the head. Tension headaches are best managed with over-the-counter painkillers and stress management techniques. Getting enough food, water, and rest can help prevent these headaches as well.

·       Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are another kind of primary headache, and are identified by bouts of excruciating pain that lasts on-and-off for short amounts of time (usually 1-3 hours) called “cluster periods”. During a cluster period, people may experience stabbing or throbbing pain, often around only one side of the face. Cluster headaches can also be managed with painkillers, but applying a warm washcloth or towel to the area in pain may help as well.

·       Migraine Headaches

Migraines are the most well-known kind of headache, namely because they are severely debilitating. Migraines usually cause moderate to severe throbbing or pulsating pain and are often accompanied by other symptoms as well. These symptoms include muscle weakness, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and sound. Just like other primary headaches, migraines can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers and rest. Resting in a quiet, dark room is best when someone has a migraine, especially if they are sensitive to light and sound.

When to Call a Doctor

If you experience chronic headaches or have a history of drug use, consider speaking with your primary care physician about your headaches. Always contact a doctor if you or a loved one experiences sensory loss during a headache, or if current pain-management methods aren’t helping. To browse other methods of pain management, visit Medical Supply Depot.

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